X-Factor No. 3: Browns Offensive Line
As we all know, keeping Baker Mayfield upright was a priority when general manager Andrew Berry was hired by the Browns this offseason. Bringing in top free agent right tackle Jack Conklin and spending the No. 10 overall selection on Alabama’s Jedrick Wills proved the need to upgrade the position.
On top of all that, Stefanski brought in offensive line coach Bill Callahan, who has had the O-line in much better shape through three weeks.
Against Dallas, Cleveland’s offensive line will need to be at its peak, as they battle this season’s sack leader Aldon Smith, who has four sacks in three games.
While the pocket was relatively clean for Mayfield against the Ravens and Bengals, Washington’s Montez Sweat was enjoying his day in Cleveland’s backfield on Sunday. As a result of Sweat’s intensity, Wills had some rookie moments with two offsides penalties. Stefanski said that he had spoken with his rookie left tackle after those flags were thrown.
Kevin Stefanski and Callahan got creative later in the game, opening up allies to run for Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt. Wyatt Teller was pulled from right guard twice to assist Wills on the left side, resulting in big chunk yardage.
As long as the Browns can continue to utilize creativity in order to win up front, the offensive line will be in good shape. Like the Browns, the Cowboys have a depleted secondary, so minimizing the pass rush will be key to letting the offense put up big numbers.